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Frankel Invites Local Father of Gun Violence Victim to State of the Union

Guest is homicide detective for West Palm Beach Police Department

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Washington, January 11, 2016 | Helen Kalla (2022559890) | comments

West Palm Beach – Today, Congresswoman Lois Frankel (FL-22) announced her guest to the 2016 State of the Union address. Detective Sergeant Gregory Key, a 30-year veteran of the West Palm Beach Police Department who lost his daughter Lindsay Key to gun violence, will join Rep. Frankel for President Obama’s final State of the Union at the U.S. Capitol on January 12th.  President Obama is expected to leave one empty seat in the House Chamber, where the speech takes place, to represent victims like Lindsay.

"Detective Sergeant Key is the face of countless Americans who live the grief of losing a loved one to gun violence, and of millions more who want common-sense solutions to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people,” Frankel said. “Congress should follow President Obama's lead and take decisive actions to pass sensible gun safety laws that will save more families from similar heartbreak."

"The President is not asking anything that is too difficult, but when it becomes personal and it happens to you or your family, change becomes simpler,” Key said.

A homicide detective with the Major Crimes Division of the West Palm Beach Police Department, Det. Sgt. Key is originally from Inverness, FL. He played minor league baseball for four years before joining the West Palm Beach Police Department in 1986 as a patrol officer. He has also served as the department’s supervisor for visiting dignitary protection. Currently, Det. Sgt. Key oversees all major crime investigations for the department.

Det. Sgt. Key lost his 19-year-old daughter Lindsay, an innocent bystander who was caught in the crossfire of a gang-related drive-by shooting in Chandler, Arizona in December 2006. Lindsay was studying to be a teacher at Chandler Community College and had recently given birth to her daughter, Patrice, who is now nine and lives with her grandparents in Arizona.

Lindsay Key was born in West Palm Beach, where she lived until moving to Arizona at age three with her mother. She was Det. Sgt. Key’s only biological child. He describes Lindsay as a kind, easy-going, and free-spirited young woman.

Gun violence takes the lives of nearly 90 Americans every day. In Florida, over 75 percent of all homicides are committed with a gun. Between 2000 and 2013, gun murders in Florida rose 38 percent, despite an overall decrease in violent crime. In 2014, Palm Beach and Broward Counties saw nearly 100 murders involving a gun.

Congresswoman Frankel is a co-sponsor of 14 bills introduced this Congress to prevent gun violence. She recently spoke on the House floor in support of a bipartisan bill that would prevent those on the FBI’s terrorist watch list from buying a gun. She also recently sent a letter with her fellow Florida Democrats to the Florida Legislature urging it to block a bill that would allow individuals with concealed carry permits to bring guns onto Florida’s college campuses.

On January 5th, President Obama announced new executive actions to curb the gun violence epidemic. The President’s actions would:

  • Toughen background checks by requiring anyone who is engaged in the business of selling firearms to become licensed and conduct background checks, regardless of where the sale takes place. Individuals purchasing a weapon like a machine gun or sawed-off shotgun through a business or corporation would also be required to pass a background check.
  • Hire 230 new FBI examiners to process background checks 24/7.
  • Address mental health by increasing funding to provide care for those with serious mental illness by $500 million, removing barriers to states’ reporting of individuals who are banned from purchasing a gun for mental health reasons, and adding mental health information to the federal background check system.
  • Help keep guns out of dangerous hands and shooters off the streets by increasing funding to track down shooters and requiring sellers to notify law enforcement if a gun they’ve sold is lost or stolen in transit.
  • Renew efforts to combat domestic violence. In a domestic violence situation, the presence of a firearm makes death five times more likely.
  • Spur research in gun safety, such as smart gun technology that only allows a gun’s owner or authorized user to fire it.

 

 

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